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The Supreme Court has rejected the latest major Republican-led effort to kill the national health care law known as “Obamacare” last week.
The justices, by a 7-2 vote, left the entire Affordable Care Act intact in ruling that Texas, other GOP-led states and two individuals had no right to bring their lawsuit in federal court.
The Biden’s administration cheered the ruling, saying 31 million people have health insurance because of the law.
The law’s major provisions include protections for people with existing health conditions, a range of no-cost preventive services, expansion of the Medicaid program that insures lower-income people and access to health insurance markets offering subsidized plans.
Also left in place is the law’s now-toothless requirement that people have health insurance or pay a penalty.
Congress rendered that provision irrelevant in 2017 when it reduced the penalty to zero.
The elimination of the penalty had become the hook that Texas and other GOP-led states, as well as the Trump administration, used to attack the entire law.
They argued that without the mandate, a pillar of the law when it was passed, the rest of the law should fall, too.
But the third major attack on the law at the Supreme Court ended the way the first two did, with a majority of the court rebuffing efforts to gut the law or get rid of it altogether.
Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for the court that the states and people who filed a federal lawsuit had failed to show that they had standing to attack as unconstitutional the Act’s minimum essential coverage provision.
Chief Justice John Roberts said during arguments in November that it seemed the law’s foes were asking the court to do work best left to the political branches of government.
The court’s decision preserves benefits that have become part of the fabric of the nation’s health care system.
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